ISLAMABAD, May 13 Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan informed the National Assembly on Wednesday that the army had detained a serving colonel and a lawyer on charges of espionage.

Speaking on a point of order raised by Hanif Abbasi of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the minister quoted Rawalpindi City Police Officer Rao Mohammad Iqbal as saying that Col Shahid Bashir and his lawyer friend Nadeem Shah were being interrogated by army officers.

He did not provide details of charges, but said “The Rawalpindi CPO will provide further details tomorrow.”

On May 1, Rawalpindi District Bar Association president Taufeeq Asif lodged a complaint with the Sadiqabad police station about disappearance of Nadeem Shah and threatened to launch a protest if he was not freed.

The Supreme Court also took suo motu notice of Mr Shah's disappearance and during a hearing on May 11 a three-member bench expressed displeasure over insufficient information provided by the CPO.

In a statement before the court, the CPO said that preliminary information received from various sources suggested that Mr Shah had been picked up by some intelligence agencies for investigation. The court directed the police official to present details of the case during the next hearing on Friday.

According to information provided to the court, Mr Shah and Col Shahid Bashir went out for dinner together somewhere in Islamabad but did not return home.

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